The people of Charleston built a memorial and planned a vigil Friday to repudiate whatever a gunman would hope to accomplish by killing nine black community leaders inside one of the nation’s most important African-American churches.
“A hateful person came to this community with some crazy idea he’d be able to divide, but all he did was unite us and make us love each other even more,” Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. said as he described plans for an evening vigil at a sports arena near the church.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said the state will “absolutely” want the death penalty for Dylann Storm Roof, who allegedly opened fire after sitting through a Wednesday night Bible study session inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
A steady stream of people brought flowers and notes and shared somber thoughts at a growing memorial in front of the church, which President Barack Obama called “a sacred place in the history of Charleston and in the history of America.”
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